Every year, a little over 135,000 prospective students apply for MBA programs across the United States. MBA programs are a popular option for those who desire to work in a variety of business fields. As the next group of applicants prepares to begin their journey, it is important to answer one question: which MBA program is right for me? The program you select shapes your professional influences and network. Luckily, since there are a vast number of options, applicants will find a program that best suits their personal and professional interests.
In the COVID-19 world, it is important to investigate strong online programs since you will unlikely be spending much time in the classroom. The following guide is a helpful tool to learn more about finding the best online MBA program. The contained information can help you determine whether the requirements of business school will help you achieve your academic and career goals.
Considerations for Choosing an MBA Program
Deciding to pursue an MBA is a major decision but applicants have additional aspects that must be considered before starting the application process. Before making a concrete decision, create a plan that suits your skills, career goals, and academic talents. The following considerations will help you craft this plan in more detail:
The strength of alumni networks impacts the school’s perception and reputation, as well as the success of graduates. Questions to ask when reviewing the alumni network include:
- Do alums participate in local events?
- How engaged are the alumni?
- What are the alumni doing now?
- What is the size of the network?
In addition to providing top educational opportunities and teaching students the skills to become the next business leaders, one of the most important services a school can offer is assisting graduates with jumpstarting their careers. Most MBA programs have a career services department to support all new graduates with career opportunities.
Most MBA’s have concentrations in marketing, finance, human resources, international business, etc. which can help you further tailor your career business interests.
Cost is probably the most important factor for those considering an MBA. You must find a balance between potential salary and cost when selecting a school. With MBA’s notoriously being a costly degree, you want to find a school you can afford. Average tuition costs for an online MBA can range from $11,000 for a public graduate school to $25,000 for a private graduate school per year. More reputable programs run even higher.
Most programs require students to complete between 55 and 65 credits with around one-third focusing on core topics. Core classes are consistent across all business schools and include a curriculum consisting of financial accounting, managerial statistics, operations, management, business analytics, and the global economic environment.
When considering the location of prospective schools, students must determine whether they wish to work in the same city post-graduation. Networking is a critical aspect of the MBA experience and that hard work can be wasted if you move away.
Paying attention to a program’s reputation is critical since those MBA’s with respected professors and renowned alumni will attract attention. Also, the business community knows which schools function as talent pipelines. Rankings give hiring panels and recruiters a sense of how the school prepares graduates for employment.
In your search for the best online MBA program, still consider top schools but focus on any appealing school. Try to learn about the programs you have never heard of since your dream MBA could be at a location you never expected. Use the above considerations during your review to find the best options to meet your personal and career requirements.